If you’re savvy when it comes to social media and followed the right people, you probably knew about Ryan Button’s life-changing trade before the defenseman did.
“I actually found out on Twitter,” Button said. “Eventually my agent got a hold of me.”
Button was part of the seven-player blockbuster trade with Boston that sent Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverly and Button to Dallas.
While one of those players didn’t seem that excited about coming to the Lone Star State (just kidding, I’m sure Seguin loves Dallas), Button said he is excited for his opportunity with a new organization, which could possibly re-boot his career.
In Boston’s organization Button was a fringe ECHL-AHL player, earning 60 games in the AHL with Providence. In those 60 games Button dished out three assists and spent 33 minutes in the penalty box — not nearly the same offensive presence he provided when he scored 113 points in 264 career Western Hockey League games.
While the offensive output has diminished in the past three years, Button said he’s become a better defensive player since Boston drafted him in the third round of the 2009 NHL Entry draft.
“I think I’m a two-way defenseman,” Button said. “Since becoming a pro I’ve become more of that two-way guy … out of junior I was more of an offensive guy.”
In Texas, Button could re-ignite some of his offensive skill set in coach Willie Desjardins’ quick-paced style of play.
“He has the skill set and he’s come into a new situation where he wants to create a great impression,” assistant coach Doug Lidster said. “He has some things to learn about our system … he also wants to get his game back to where he knows it can (be). That confidence will come for him when he knows it’s alright for him to basically push the envelope.”
Button did have a first-hand look at Desjardins system in the WHL. While Button played with the Prince Albert Raiders and Seattle Thunderbirds, Desjardins was the head coach for the Medicine Hat Tigers.
“You can tell that every guy comes to work, I played against Willie in the Western League and he ate us up pretty good in Med Hat,” Button said. “He demands players to be ready every day from the start of practice till the end of practice.”
Now Button is hoping his hard work in practice will earn him a spot in Texas’ opening night lineup. The Stars have eight defensemen on the roster and after the top four (Jamie Oleksiak, Patrick Nemeth, Cameron Gaunce and Maxime Fortunus) there is wide-open race for spots five and six.